On being an artist

via my flickr

via my flickr

The other day in my biology class we were all sitting around relaxing and talking, now that the AP exam is over. One senior girl was discussing how much work goes into the science research program, which is a three-year course at our school that offers students a chance to work with a mentor from an outside institution and delve deeper into a scientific topic of their choice. Making a case for the time she’s put into the class, she said, “I’ve been working my ass off for three years! I’m not one of those people that just took a bunch of art electives and skated by.”

Immediately, the class erupted in indignation, and I’m glad it did. Because art is a lot of work. I have invariably had to put more time into all my art and music classes than I have for any other class I’ve taken in high school, because art demands that time. You can’t bullshit art the night before it’s due. You can copy someone else’s history notes, but you can’t copy creativity. You can’t copy rolls of film. You can’t copy the ability to play an instrument. You can’t throw a sketchbook together twenty minutes before it’s collected. Art is something you simply can’t fake, because it is so personal. You put your soul into it.

Why be an artist, anyway? Sometimes I ask myself the same question. Without a lot of luck and good publicity, it’s difficult to make a living off of it. It sucks up huge amounts of time. There are a lot of ways in which being an artist isn’t ideal, but I wouldn’t change for the world. Being an artist is about seeing the beauty in small moments. Sometimes, for one beautiful second, a ray of golden sunlight will catch a fluffy white dandelion at just the right angle, and it’ll make my whole day. Being an artist is about taking those moments and freezing them in time. Capturing a smile, a mood, an idea, and making it so that everyone can feel what you felt.

I think art is so important, and I’ve neglected it for too long. I was under the silly impression that my art isn’t as important as my grades. But it is. A lot of people will probably think that’s foolish, but I’m not going to major in test taking. In life, a number on a piece of paper won’t inspire you; it won’t make your mind gears turn or your soul sour. Art will. Art speaks the way nothing else does.

Photoshoot: Kaysie

This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of working work my beautiful friend Kaysie for a photoshoot. We explored several different concepts, and I have to say, this was probably the best shoot I’ve ever done! (Notwithstanding the many times I’ve modeled for Georgia, which I always love beyond belief.)

I’m somewhat of an introvert and terrible at keeping in touch with people (even those I see on a daily basis), so the only model I usually have is myself. It was so great to just be the photographer this time–it reminded me why I love this form of art so deeply. I’m hoping I can schedule more real shoots in the future!

The picture above is a little behind-the-scenes from the final part of our shoot. Kaysie is so cute and so much fun to work with! If you’d like to see more from this shoot or more of my photography in general, visit my Flickr. Hopefully I’ll have more to share in the coming months!

 

Inspiration: Georgia

I apologize for the gap in posts, all. I went on a lovely vacation to California over midwinter break to visit family, colleges, and of course, Disneyland. I’m back now, however, with as much to say as always.

Today I’d like to share with you one of my favorite people and biggest inspirations: my good friend Georgia. Zhe is an enormously talented photographer and a wonderful human being. For a while now, zhe has been doing a 365 photography project, which you can view here, at zer Flickr. It’s been incredible to see zer work evolve over the past several months, especially with all zhe’s been through lately. It ranges from blue-toned self portraits to stunning multimedia work to conceptual edits to stark black-and-white prints, film and digital. Georgia’s photography tells a story, something I strive to emulate.

“Would it be a sin if I can’t help falling in love with you?”

96/365

87/365 / (I’m the model here!)

Georgia inspires me daily, in who zhe is and what zhe does. Some day I hope to be as dedicated and talented a photographer as zhe is. I highly suggest you all go peruse and admire zer work! It takes my breath away every time.